“You look so pretty!” my wide-eyed daughter told the radiant bride who had just emerged from the Washington D.C. Temple with her new husband. Our family had made the seven-hour trip to the temple for that very purpose—so our daughters, Hannah and Lauren, could see a temple bride.
Most of the adults in our stake are converts to the Church and were sealed in the temple when their children were young. Few of us have a heritage of temple weddings to celebrate. My husband and I work hard to teach our daughters the importance of eternal marriage, but we struggle because in our area there are very few examples for the rising generation of young couples marrying in the temple.
We have faced many challenges as we have taught our daughters to make temple marriage a goal. Here are several ways we have strengthened their resolve to marry in the temple.
Have family home evening lessons about temple marriage. General Authorities’ addresses and the Family Home Evening Resource Book are good resources for lessons about temple marriage. Teach your children the importance of marrying “the right person, in the right place, by the right authority.”1
Hang up pictures of the temple in your home. President Spencer W. Kimball said, “It seems to me it would be a fine thing if every set of parents would have in every bedroom in their house a picture of the temple so the [child] from the time he is an infant could look at the picture every day and it becomes a part of his life. When he reaches the age that he needs to make this very important decision, it will already have been made.”2
Participate in ward or stake temple activities. My children and I drove for three hours to attend the meeting at which President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) announced that a temple would be built in Columbus, Ohio, USA. After its dedication my children participated in youth baptisms there, and my husband and I attended together as often as we could.
Take your children to visit the temple grounds, if possible. Our family traveled to Utah and toured Temple Square. After we saw numerous brides, my older daughter set a goal to be married in the Salt Lake Temple. Even when children are outside the temple, they can see the temple’s beauty and feel the Spirit.
Help your children understand that the day you were sealed was a special day. Our younger daughter was sealed to us when her older sister was five. I cherish the day we were all in the temple together. A portrait of the girls in their temple dresses hangs at the top of the stairs. The girls know that we treasure that photo because of the special event that happened that day.
Become familiar with the Primary song “Families Can Be Together Forever.” We have adopted it as our “family song,” and we sing it often. We hope the words will sink deep into our daughters’ hearts and increase their commitment to “prepare most carefully, so [they] can marry in God’s temple for eternity.”3
Making temple marriage a goal has helped us teach our children to want to live worthy to receive this wonderful blessing.
Illustration by Brian Call